(2000 B.C.E - 1450 B.C.E.)
CreteThe earliest civilization associated with Greece was on the island of Crete It is the largest island off mainland Greece.
KnossosThe famous Minoan civilization was discovered by Arthur Evans, He is an archeologist who discovered the remains of a palace at Knossos.
KnossosThis palace was thought to be the palace of King Minos alluded to in the writings of the ancient Greek historian Thucydides.
The throne room at KnossosThe Minoan civilization is named after King Minos who legend told, dominated a large part of the Aegean Sea with his powerful Navy.
The queens apartment at KnossosHis palace had over 800 rooms including apartments for the king & queen, a temple, workshops, and a school.
The Palace KnossosIt was also both government house & storehouse for taxes collected in the form of olive oil, wine, & grain. Cretans exported bronze utensils, olive oil, wine, and vases.
They had indoor plumbing with piped in water and flush toilets. This did not become common again for 3600 years.
They developed systems of writing - Linear A, and Linear B.These scripts were discovered on clay tablets by Evans.
The Palace KnossosThe palace was decorated with frescoes depicting scenes of nature, Minoan life, and entertainment such as boxing and bull-leaping.
The many roomed palace & images of bull-leaping may explain the Legend of the Minotaur.
The Legend of the MinotaurKing Minos demanded an annual tribute of seven youths and seven girls from Athens (mainland greece) to sacrifice to the Minotaur (Monsterous man-bull).This took place in a maze (the labyrinth).
A hero, Theseus, destroyed the bull with the help of the Kings daughter, Ariadne.She provided him with a magic sword and a chord to find his way out of the maze.
Minoans had trade with the mainland Greeks (Mycenaeans) so Greeks must have visited. Some might have participated in bull leaping rituals, and died.The Greeks eventually had a hand in destroying the Minoans culture and taking over their lands.
Minoans grew and prospered, but their civilization ended in 1450 B.C.E. A volcanic eruption on a nearby island may have been the cause. This may explain the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis.